Today marks the beginning of another liturgical year. The tone of today’s readings casts us in the role of students learning solemn lessons. The reading from Isaiah sets the stage, calling us up a mountain to receive the Lord’s instruction. In this passage we study peace.
Then Paul steps forth with sober admonitions. We have to wake up; the day is almost here. Live honorably in the light. Paul reminds us that we really do know the time in which we are living.
Finally, Matthew presents Jesus the storyteller. Just imagine, Jesus tells us, what it was like in Noah’s time. He paints a vivid picture of ordinary people living ordinary lives and ignoring the warnings that Noah heeded. Totally unconcerned, they were destroyed. How will it be any different for us? No one knows when the Lord will come. But we have been warned.
Perhaps we find such sobering scriptures unappealing and threatening. But within them there is promise. We are to live in the light with nothing to hide. We are to be ready.